Posts Tagged ‘bighorn sheep’

Tonto News Round-up September 2009

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Payson is burning!

No – not really. But it came close last Monday when the Wagon Wheel Fire torched the forest around Diamond Point, north of Payson and south of the RIm. This has forced some closures of roads and campgrounds.

You can track the fire management progress here.

A Lion in Kofa

AZ Game and Fish caught and killed the lion that had been killing off bighorn sheep in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona. The lion, a male fitted with a telemetry collar, was known to have killed 15 bighorn sheep, 11 within the predation management area, since being collared in late February. The Kofa herds, which once numbered as high as 800 in 2000 are now estimated at around 430 animals. The lion was tracked down in  the nearby Eagletail Mountains.

“This one lion was averaging a bighorn sheep kill every 10 days,” said Pat Barber, supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Region IV office in Yuma. “At that rate, an estimated 37 bighorn sheep would have been lost to this lion in a year.”

With other mountain lions remaining in the Kofa  region, Game and Fish biologists will continue to take an active role in monitoring bighorn sheep losses attributed to predation.

“The goal is not to remove all mountain lions from the management area, but to limit predation until the sheep population recovers,” said Barber. “Mountain lion populations throughout the state are healthy and they are neither rare, threatened or at risk. The same can’t be said for this bighorn sheep population.”

Public Lands Day Volunteer Opportunities

In addition to the calls for help published in the last news round-up, a variety of agencies are collaborating in cleaning up the Boulders OHV area on September 26 (Public Lands Day). The Boulders OHV area is located along State Route 74 (mile marker 11.5) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. To get to the Boulders from the Phoenix area, head north on I-17 to the Highway 74 exit (exit 223), then head west on Hwy 74 to mile marker 11.5. Go north 1 mile to the staging area. Road access into the area is good for most vehicles.

The public is encouraged to volunteer (under the terms of an agency agreement) to assist with clean-up, outreach and sign installation activities. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, snacks and water.

Cycle Gear, a motorsports gear store, will have prizes for top volunteer efforts. The Arizona Trails Riders will be conducting courtesy vehicle sound testing and will help repack mufflers. The Arizona OHV Coalition and OHV Ambassadors will provide you with maps and informational materials. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will have their mobile OHV learning center on hand to help inform the public of the new OHV laws as well as places to ride.

What could be more fun?
Federal stimulus dollars to help Arizona wildlife

[Below is verbatim from the press release – TP]
Funds to employ rural contractors and purchase Arizona products

The Arizona Game and Fish Department Landowner Relations Program (LRP) will use $110,000 in economic stimulus funds to actively support private land improvements that will benefit both wildlife and the people of Arizona. These dollars came to the department from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Grassland restorations, riparian area protection and pond improvements are just a few of the four or five new projects that could be completed in the next year because of these funds. The projects must also benefit federal trust species that includes things like migratory birds, threatened or endangered species, and to improve water quality.

Landowner Relations Program Manager Sal Palazzolo said, “Projects that can put greater numbers of people to work will probably get chosen over others. For example, it takes lots of people and materials to put in a new fence as opposed to a project that might only take one or two people.”

For more information about the Arizona Game and Fish Department Landowner Relations Program go online to

Doe shot with arrow and left to die

The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief program is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for illegally killing a doe.

Game and Fish personnel are investigating a case in which a doe was shot with an arrow and left to die during the deer opener on Aug. 21 at approximately 10:45 a.m. The incident took place in Game Management Unit 20A along Senator Highway between mileposts 6 and 7, just north of the 307 hiking trail. The location is six or seven miles south of downtown Prescott.